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Human Errors

August 3, 1999 | From Times Wire Reports
Errors by a Marine pilot and a Navy target range officer caused a bombing accident that killed a civilian on the island of Vieques, off Puerto Rico, earlier this month, according to a Navy report. Navy officials said "two critical" human errors caused a bomb to go astray during military maneuvers on April 19, killing civilian security guard David Sanes Rodriguez. The Marine F-14 Hornet jet involved in the accident took off from the John F.
September 4, 2013 | By Mery Mogollon and Chris Kraul
CARACAS, Venezuela - With parts of Venezuela still dark after a mysterious blackout that left the capital and 17 states without electricity, President Nicolas Maduro laid the blame on opposition sabotage as his government scrambled to respond to the power failure. The power shutdown began midday Tuesday after an apparent failure in high voltage transmission lines in Aragua and Guarico states, which led to total outage in several of the country's most populous areas. Power was restored by early Wednesday to most of metropolitan Caracas, the capital, and a dozen states, according to the government.
March 30, 1989 | JEFFREY A. PERLMAN, Times Urban Affairs Writer
The $19-million cost overrun on the new terminal at John Wayne Airport was blamed Wednesday on gross miscalculations, not bid inflation by contractors. The airport staff said it had accepted a consultant's report concluding that "human errors" in quantifying and pricing various items explain $15 million of the $19-million difference between the expected $40.8-million cost of the terminal and a low bid that came in at $59.7 million.
July 13, 2013 | By Devorah Lauter
PARIS - The French train accident Friday that resulted in at least six deaths appears to have been caused by a problem with a steel clip on a switch that enables trains to change tracks, according to the national rail company, SNCF. The clip, located on a switch about 200 yards from the train station, "broke away, became detached and came out of its housing," said Pierre Izard, SNCF's general manager for infrastructure. That probably led to the derailing of an intercity train departing from Paris, headed to Limoges, outside the Bretigny-sur-Orge station 12 miles south of the capital.
When it comes to preventing mistakes, American medicine is just beginning to see the error of its ways. Though it prides itself on huge advances in technology and skill, medicine has lagged far behind other life-and-death industries in its understanding of simple human error. Ask those who run nuclear reactors for a living or ferry passengers through the sky: Accidents will happen; the trick is to minimize them with built-in precautions.
Initial findings of an inquiry into the helicopter collision that killed 73 servicemen near Israel's northern border earlier this month stop short of determining the cause of the crash but point to human errors that may have played a role, according to a report released Friday. The two transport helicopters collided in heavy rain and fog Feb. 4 over the upper Galilee community of Shaar Yeshuv as they ferried soldiers to Israeli outposts in southern Lebanon. All on board were killed.
September 16, 2004 | Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Eric Malnic and Jennifer Oldham, Times Staff Writers
Two separate human errors caused a breakdown in radio communications that brought Southern California's major airports to a near-stop Tuesday and led to at least five instances in which planes came too close, Federal Aviation Administration officials said. "A loss of communication is a serious matter, and it should not have occurred," Rick Day, a senior FAA official, said Wednesday. On Tuesday, FAA officials had insisted that the more than three-hour system shutdown posed no safety risks.
PacifiCare Health Systems Inc., the giant managed-care company, disclosed Wednesday that it apparently overcharged the government millions of dollars for health services for federal employees. The Cypress-based firm said it put $25 million into a reserve account to handle potential government claims for the last six years. Its decision mirrors a move in May by its Orange County rival, FHP International Corp., which took a $45-million reserve for possible overbilling on its federal contracts.
September 10, 1994 | From Associated Press
A stock trader's error on part of the Nasdaq computer system Friday led to reporting of incorrect prices on more than two dozen major stocks. Trades are expected to be correctly priced, but incorrect figures were transmitted to computer systems, newspapers such as The Times and other reporting agencies. (Figures on the Times' TimesLine phone service will not be corrected until Monday.
September 8, 1994
A study by Topaz Enterprises, a Portland, Ore.-based air fare auditing firm specializing in business travel cost reduction, reviewed the errors made by travel agents in second-quarter, 1994, audits. The most costly mistake when booking domestic flights was not suggesting an alternate airport. Errors are defined by the policies of Topaz's corporate clients.
May 29, 2013 | By Tony Perry
The explosion that killed seven Marines during mortar training in March at the Hawthorne Army Depot in Nevada was caused by human error, the Marine Corps said Wednesday. "The Marines employing one of the mortars did not follow correct procedures, resulting in the detonation of a high explosive round at the mortar position," said a Marine Corps announcement about the results of an investigation. Also, the Marines "had not conducted appropriate preparatory training leading up to the live-fire event," according to the statement.
November 25, 2012 | By Matt Pearce
A Springfield, Mass., strip club exploded Friday evening after a gas employee's metal probe punctured a natural gas line and caused the club to fill with gas, investigators said Sunday. Officials may never know exactly what sparked the explosion, which flattened the club, damaged dozens of nearby buildings and injured 19 people, including 12 firefighters who had rushed to evacuate the building and area. According to the findings of an investigation by Massachusetts State Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan, an employee with the Columbia Gas Co. was responding to a report of a gas odor at the Scores Gentleman's Club in downtown Springfield and was looking for the source.
August 3, 2012 | By Chad Terhune, Los Angeles Times
Dozens of hospitals across the country lost access to crucial electronic medical records for about five hours during a major computer outage last week, raising fresh concerns about whether poorly designed technology can compromise patient care. Cerner Corp., a leading supplier of electronic health records to hospitals and doctors, said "human error" caused the outage July 23 that it said affected an unspecified number of hospitals that rely on the Kansas City, Mo., company to remotely store their medical information.
July 5, 2012 | By Deborah Netburn
And the computer says, GOOOOAAAL! On Thursday members of the International Football Assn. Board (IFAB) approved two types of goal-line technology to assist soccer referees in determining whether or not a player has scored a goal. Human error in soccer game calls, like the one that  denied a clear goal by English midfielder Frank Lampard against Germany at the 2010 World Cup, may soon be a thing of the past. The new technology will be used by FIFA (international soccer's other governing group)
June 28, 2011
BET executive Stephen Hill is taking responsibility for the Chris Brown-Rihanna snafu that shook up the BET Awards Sunday. A contest winner announced the recipient of the Coca-Cola Viewers Choice award from results on her tablet computer. She first said that Brown had won, then corrected herself and said Rihanna was the winner. At the end of the ceremony, host Kevin Hart brought out Brown to tell him he was actually the winner of the trophy. Hill, president of music programming and specials for BET, tweeted Monday "That BET Awards Viewer's Choice mix-up was due to human error.
June 9, 2010 | By Carla Hall, Los Angeles Times
What if you held an election and the person who was supposed to bring the ballots didn't show? That's what happened Tuesday morning at one polling place in Venice. We may live in a high-tech society, but in L.A. County, at least the act of voting remains decidedly low-tech. You step up to a little plastic booth with a paper card and mark it with an inky stylus and then stick it in a plastic tub. So when the election inspector for Precinct 9001554A in Venice was a no-show at 6 a.m. at the Venice Methodist United Church polling location, the poll workers found themselves without ballots, vote recorders, portable booths or the voter roster — only an hour before the polls opened.
September 6, 1995 | From Associated Press
Greenpeace, which pressured the oil giant Shell Oil Co. into scrapping plans to dump an old drilling platform at sea, admitted Tuesday that part of its campaign was in error. While Shell enjoyed a bit of good publicity in a dispute that earlier spurred consumer protests across Europe, Greenpeace insisted that its goal of preventing sea burial of the platform Brent Spar was the right idea.
October 18, 1987
I'm sure that it was a misprint or a mistaken communication, but the recent Oct. 5 View section of the Los Angeles Times that depicted Guy McCaskie misidentifying a willet (a common bird here) for a great blue heron (also common) has provided the birding community with a chance to rib McCaskie unmercifully. Comments like "Did you hear about Guy's great blue willet?" or "Maybe McCaskie should start birding with the little old ladies in tennis shoes until he learns the common birds" are samples of the jokes making the rounds.
January 4, 2010 | By Jim Tankersley
President Obama's leading counter-terrorism advisor said Sunday that human error, not turf battles among federal intelligence officials, allowed an Al Qaeda-trained operative to carry out an attempt to bomb a Detroit-bound passenger plane on Christmas Day. Deputy national security advisor John Brennan, in appearances on several morning television news programs, also said there was "no smoking gun" of intelligence gathered by American officials that...
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